Roki Sasaki returned and was not razor sharp, while Hanshin got another big start on Sunday Japan’s two league leaders head into the start of interleague Tuesday on a high note, while Yakult is hitting all sour notes as they went into their series finale with Hiroshima having dropped nine straight decisions.
I want to apologize for not posting anything yesterday, but I was dead tired after a busy shift at the salt mine before recording a podcast and spending the rest of my free time working out a program to create 1,000s of simulated results from normally distributed six-team leagues.
This is a tool I created to find out whether we should or shouldn’t be surprised by the Yomiuri Giants’ surprising success at 0-0 and 1-0 counts over the past 14 seasons, and now that it’s done, I’ve gotten some interesting results.
But enough of that for now…
Marines 9, Hawks 5: At Fukuoka Dome, Roki Sasaki (4-0), pitching for the first time in over three weeks and threw mostly fastballs and splitters, and as usual, the command of his splitters was an issue, although he had good movement on them, two bad ones and a fly out resulted in two fourth-inning runs on a fluke single, a triple and a sac fly.
Otherwise he was simply too good for SoftBank, striking out nine over six innings while walking one and allowing three hits.
Marines captain Shogo Nakamura hit his third homer in the first with a man on against Koya Fujii (4-3) and singled in a run in the second. Gregory Polanco’s fifth homer, with two on in the seventh, made it 6-2 and manager Masato Yoshii took that as his cue to pull Sasaki after 82 pitches.
Polanco hit a two-run eighth-inning double and SoftBank got some redemption on Ryoya Kurihara’s three run, ninth-inning homer, his sixth.Continue reading NPB news: May 28, 2023